Iraqi Sadrites free American hostage after 9 months

Randy Michaels, a former American soldier who was acting in a "civilian capacity" in Iraq, was freed after 9 months of captivity. He was held by members of the militia loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr. The Iraqis are identifying Micahaels as a soldier but the Pentagon says there were no American military personnel being held in Iraq. Reuters: He was handed over to the United Nations mission in Baghdad, which transferred him to the U.S. embassy. Washington confirmed he was a U.S. citizen but released no further details. In brief remarks to Iraqi journalists hastily convened to witness his release, Michaels said he had deployed to Iraq in 2003 and initially served there as a soldier for 15 months. He remained in Iraq "in a civilian capacity from then until June of 2011, when I was taken hostage by elements of Yom al-Maoud," he said, referring to the Promised Day Brigade, an offshoot of Sadr's Mehdi Army militia. "I was taken inside Baghdad and have been kept in and around different ...(Read Full Post)